Acme Fire Cult @ 40FT Brewery

Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Acme Fire Cult @ 40FT Brewery

Silver Award

Based on the name and smatterings of anecdotal evidence, we half expected Acme Fire Cult to be a glorified barbecue. Which it is – but one that simultaneously celebrates and rebels against the rules surrounding food cooked over hot coals.  

For one, its sustainable ethos sees it shun burgers and hotdogs for a mostly veg-focused menu, while harnessing low-waste techniques to create its unique dishes. From there, things start to get whacky and wonderful. Acme also collaborates with 40FT Brewery and nowhere in London is the relationship between beer and food more intrinsically linked. We were offered a particular pint brewed from bananas and black pepper, for example, and while we weren’t brave enough to accept, you see our point.  

We did spend a good five minutes quibbling about what certain items on the menu were, but in a way not knowing is part of the fun (although relaxed and friendly staff are happy to explain). What Acme is really asking you to do is take a leap of faith that anything you order will be tremendous. 

As we sat on the rustic outdoor deck, breathing in the smoke from the wood-fired grill, stupidly pretty dishes started to arrive in quick succession on bamboo plates. Flatbreads drowned in a melted pool of marmite butter and lashings of pecorino were naughtily delicious, and a modest five quid. Our favourite dish of the night was, surprisingly, a cold one: silky coal-roasted leeks on a creamy bed of pistachio romesco. Elsewhere, a blackened, smoky mackerel fillet was offset by a verdant green pool of herbs, dill and capers, while slow-cooked ox cheek, supremely ugly to look at, revealed its beauty within as we pulled apart the succulent meat.

The desserts didn’t leave a lasting impression, but you’re here for the barbie, not a vegan chocolate pot. It’s hard to believe that such flimsy plates can hold such spectacular cooking, but Acme’s aim is to subvert and surprise in the most unpretentious, exciting and unusual way.  

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Under £30
Cool, Fun, Lively, Quirky, Unique
Food Occasions
All day dining, Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Beer garden, Great views, Outside seating, Rooftop, Terrace
Special Features
Vegan options, Vegetarian options
Birthdays, Group dining [8+]

About Acme Fire Cult @ 40FT Brewery

Acme Fire Cult is a live-fire concept from chefs Andrew Clarke and Daniel Watkins, the next step for the duo after a successful summer residency at London Fields Courtyard in Hackney. Located at 40FT Brewery in Dalston, Acme is a collaboration with Steve Ryan of 40FT, and offers a new approach to BBQ, where vegetables take centre stage and where food and drink are intrinsically linked. And for a bit of context, Acme derives from the Greek word akme, meaning the point at which something is at its best or most highly developed. 

The low waste menu uses beer brewing by-products to make ferments and sauces, such as its Acme ‘Marmite’ made from leftover beer yeast. Vegetables lie at the heart of the menu, alongside rare and native breed meat and fish from sustainable suppliers. Grilling and fermentation techniques are harnessed at Acme, as well as the heavy use of chilli and spices. The menu is constantly evolving but you might find things like grilled leeks with pistachio romesco, flatbreads topped with coal-roasted celeriac, mushroom-kelp XO, coco bean miso and salsa verde. Large plates, meanwhile, include ‘Char Siu’ of monkfish with fennel pollen, roast Jalapeño verde and grilled sea vegetables. 

The restaurant has 10 beer taps pouring fresh beers brewed on site, as well as special edition beers to be paired with the food. There is also a concise wine list and a cocktail menu (with pairings) featuring classic negronis, margaritas and beer-based cocktails.  

The restaurant caters for 50 covers inside, including a bar area with six seats, plus 60 covers outside on the covered and heated terrace. A large custom-made grill and smoker stand proudly in the covered yard, serving Acme Fire Cult flavours whatever the weather. Inside, the space is pared back and dark with industrial elements.


Are there veggie options on the menu?

Yes, the menu leads with vegetable dishes and uses meat in a supporting role so there's plenty of choice for vegetarians.

Helpful? 0


Abbot Street, Dalston, London, E8 3DP

Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 17:00-22:00
Thu 12:00-22:00
Fri 12:00-22:00
Sat 12:00-22:00
Sun 12:00-17:00


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